Saturday, December 4, 2010

Review: Hominids

Hominids

Author:  Robert J. Sawyer
Pages:  448
ISBN:  9780765345004
Buy it from the Book Depository 

I’ve had Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer on my bookshelf for about a year now and I just never got round to reading it until now.  The Sci-Fi reading challenge I’m participating in provided the ideal opportunity to dig into this ‘alternate history’ tale where two parallel Universes meet.

During a quantum-computing experiment Ponter Bonditt, a Neanderthal physicist, gets transported from a universe where Neanderthals instead of Homo Sapiens become the dominant species.  The story focuses largely on exploring and contrasting modern Neanderthal life with that of humanity.

The lifestyle Sawyer envisages for the Neanderthals is interesting and unique.  In most cases it seems to be a quite plausible imagining of what could have been.  In others instances it pushes your suspension of disbelief to the limits.

This is the first novel in the Neaderthal Parallax, but can be quite easily read as a standalone novel since it’s written in such a way that it contains a complete story in itself and is not just used for setting the stage for the rest of the trilogy.

The Verdict:
I quite enjoyed the novel.  It brings interesting concepts to the table which will provide some food for thought to the average reader.  For those involved in the disciplines discussed in the novel the science and conclusions drawn might show some flaws, but personally I didn’t find it much of a problem.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for the rest of the novels in the trilogy.

Rating – 6.5/10

Buy it from the Book Depository 

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